Something I've been thinking about recently due to circumstances, is the labelling and perception of learning and training in organisational terms and what it means to me and what I call myself. My background and experience in something broadly called '(e)learning and development' over many years has emerged from technical writing, instructional design, writing help systems, scripting for CBT and elearning, helping teams manage business change, managing and developing elearning teams and focusing on strategic emerging and future technologies for learning, touching on change management. However, I've never considered myself to be a trainer as that doesn't fit with my experience (I don't do 'stand-up' delivery) and I don't have the formal training qualifications that other colleagues have within a formal training team structure. That possibly sounds a little simplistic (there are other factors), but what do others think? Does it depend on the organisation?

And a task - If you had a blank sheet of paper, and headcount to fill in your organisation, who would you be looking for, what skills would you be anticipating to fill the space and what job titles would you put in your advertisement? Would love to know where this market is heading.

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Katherine - an excellent, thoughtful post and question. You have provoked me into some thinking which I hope to have developed more fully before the June meeting, for further discussion.
I do stand up and do delivery, when I get the opportunity, but I don't consider myself a trainer, either. I did once, but even then, I didn't have the formal training qualifications that appear to have proliferated over the past decade or so.

I tend to refer to myself rather generically as a "learning professional" or an L&D professional. But advertising for posts is a tricky one, and as for how you would go about interviewing and selecting staff... I'm just glad it's not my job! I would say that it's ironic when a head of L&D is being sought and the person doing to the interviewing and recruiting doesn't have a clue about where the L&D 'industry' (for want of a better word) is today, which makes for a weak platform from which to make a wise selection.
Is there are difference between education and training? Is that what you're asking? I remember a friend telling me a while back that while you would want your children to have sex education at school. You probably wouldn't want them to have sex training....
Hi Katherine - having just joined this forum I thought I'd reply from my own perspective. My job title is "Training Consultant" and I qualified under NVQ Level 3 in "Training and Development". That involved Identification of Training Needs, Design of Materials, Design and Delivery of Training Sessions, plus Evaluation. My work experience over the last 10 years or so has ranged from "stand up" to CBT design and deployment, plus delivery via LiveMeeting and Teleconference.

Having said that people tend to be looking for Skills in particular areas or technologies - I was approached the other day about a requirement for "Flash" expertise - so I guess that even if you had blank piece of paper you would have to have some pre-requisites?

As to terminology - I was once told that "training" is about a demonstrable shift in the level of skill, knowledge or attitude - but I think you could apply that to "education" - for example my children's school talks about "learning outcomes" and that is an "educational establishment. I am sure that evryone will have differing views on what is probably "interchangeable" terminology.
I love this sort of discussion. You can journey for hours and still end up in the place you began!

I recognised Alastair's analogy of sex education and sex training - in fact I've used it myself often (the analogy that is!).
Speaking as one who crossed the great divide between Education and Training, may I share my three favourite quotes on the matter?

The first one - "Education is what remains after what has been learned has been forgotten." - is so clever that it has been attributed to several "originators" including John Dryden, B.F. Skinner, George Savile, Jean Thoreau and (inevitably) Mark Twain. Most people associate it with Einstein.

As I believe one should never allow school to get in the way of one's education, I love G. K. Chesterton's quote "Education is the period during which you are being instructed by somebody you do not know, about something you do not want to know."

But having left child education a lifetime ago, I thank Irwin Edman (1896-1954) for my very favourite, ""Education is the process of casting false pearls before real swine."
Hi, I've only recently joined and am catching up and thought I would add my pennies worth. I am initiating a shift from a training department and am looking for it to become a learning and development department. Part of this process is to creat a learning culture within the business. Personaly, I prefer learning and development as this for me encompasses an entire process of education encompassing training sessions, reading, e-learning, coaching group or 1-2-1 sessions, brain storming etc all of which enhance people. I refer to myself to friends or at networking events as a L&D Professional although my title (soon to change) is Training Manager.
Katherine, like you I don't do "stand up", but do come from a training background. My title began as International Training Specialist and is now International Sales and Marketing Effectiveness Specialist! With many titles in between.
For me the title doesn't matter so much, its more imprtant that within my organisation people know who I am and how I can help them, so I spend a lot of time networking and marketing my department.



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